Getting around is getting better.
Highway 63 provides major road access to the centres of the south. This key route is currently in the process of being improved and widened to increase safety and accommodate a rapidly growing volume of personal and commercial traffic. Its expected completion is set for the fall of 2016 and is well on track to meet this deadline.
The Fort McMurray International Airport is Canada’s 5th busiest airport, seeing over 1.3 million passengers in 2014. The new facility opened in the summer of 2014 and offers a variety of amenities, with over 15 brand name retail and food outlets, including two full service restaurants. Wood Buffalo has an extensive public and intra-provincial bus transportation network provided by Wood Buffalo Transit and Diversified Transportation Ltd., while Red Arrow Motor Coach and Greyhound provide regular scheduled bus transportation to destinations to the south.
Development plans include dedicated bus lanes and light rail transit to link the communities of Wood Buffalo with each other and the oil sands worksites.
Regional roadways are also being developed to ease access to worksites and at the same time ease the pressure of traffic in urban areas.
The airport annually handles over 60,000 aircraft movements involving three-quarters of a million passengers. More and more travel is unrelated to the oil sands and instead connected to visiting family, tourism and diversified business interests and investments.
Photos courtesy of the Fort McMurray International Airport
With constantly improving access the transport of goods is becoming more efficient, more reliable and much more economical, and it will only get better as roads and airline service are improved.
Wood Buffalo is increasingly regarded as a key part of the Calgary-Edmonton-Fort McMurray corridor with infrastructure additions and improvements underway. Accessibility to southern markets is no longer a barrier to business here.
Here, there and everywhere.